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Goats add an element of fun to yoga workout

Patricia Faulhaber
Suburbanite correspondent

GREEN  Mother and daughter Amie and Lauren Jones and a friend Nicole Fahrney were enjoying a sunny, cool morning outside on the lawn of the Twisted Olive on Oct. 17. All three had their masks on and were sitting on their yoga mats waiting for the Goat Yoga session to begin. The trio had been there before and knew what to expect of both the yoga workout and the baby goats.

Owner Lincoln Barrett helps Earl the Nigerian dwarf goat climb on one of the yoga participants on Oct. 17 at Twisted Olive in Green.

“We were here last week and we really enjoyed having the baby goats around,” Amie said. “It’s part of why we came back this week.”

What exactly is goat yoga? It was developed in August of 2016 by Lainey Morse. It is a simple idea: a yoga teacher leads a class of people while goats (generally babies) that are under 30 pounds interact with the humans by climbing on them, cuddling, stretching, sniffing and licking or nibbling them a bit. The baby goats are encouraged to climb and interact by their handlers with the promise of a treat.

John Buckner from Release Yoga in Green was the yoga instructor for the morning. He said the goats bring an element of fun with them when they visit with the participants.

Owner Lincoln Barrett helps Earl the Nigerian dwarf goat climb on one of the yoga participants on Oct. 17 at Twisted Olive in Green.

“The goats are often more exciting than the yoga,” Buckner said. “In addition to the element of fun, the goats encourage people to get outside and be active. Certain posture pressure of the goats does give an element of release while doing the yoga.”

The goats are owned by Lincoln and Nicole Barrett of Dandelion Acres farm in Louisville. This week they brought four baby goats: Bindi, Wendy, Sassy and Earl. All four are Nigerian dwarf goats and grow to about 55 pounds.

“The baby goats we bring to the yoga sessions are 20 to 25 pounds,” Nicole said. “We socialize the goats from babies and of course the food we give them always encourages them to climb on people’s backs and to interact with everyone.”

Owner Lincoln Barrett helps Earl the Nigerian dwarf goat climb on one of the yoga participants on Oct. 17 at Twisted Olive in Green.

As people were coming and finding their spot on the grassy area next to the Twisted Olive restaurant, the Barrett family started walking the dwarf goats around to greet people. Everyone was open to having one of the baby goats jump up on their backs. Class members were taking photos or selfies with the goats and they were laughing while petting the goats and at times getting licked and kissed by one of the kid goats.

Buckner said that the are plans in the works to offer Goat Yoga next spring and summer. He said the class size is generally around 55 people and there are usually four or five goats that lighten up the session.

“This is a very popular event and we get a lot of returning people because of the goats. It’s really fun to watch the goats when they start jumping. We get a lot of kids come too and they really love the goats,” Buckner said.

John Buckner of Release Yoga in Green led the Goat Yoga class on Oct. 17 at Twisted Olive. He had 55 people and four goats in class that morning.